Allan Whitlock Markham – Lieutenant Commander, United States Navy

Allan Whitlock Markham, 72, an attorney who specialized in aviation law and public service, died after an apparent heart attack July 16 at his country home in Morgan County, West Virginia.

A resident of Washington for the past 35 years and a longtime member of the Massachusetts Avenue Heights Citizens Association, Mr. Markham worked for the military, state and federal governments, private law firms and finally his own practice.

Born in Charlottesville, Virginia, Mr. Markham grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He graduated from the University of North Carolina and later from its law school, in 1961. Between college and law school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a naval aviator and served on the aircraft carrier Hornet in the Pacific. He remained an officer in the Naval Air Reserve thereafter, and in 1968, 10 years after his initial service had ended, he was recalled to active duty as aircraft maintenance officer with a squadron of fighters during the Vietnam era, leaving with the rank of Commander.

As assistant professor of public law and assistant director of the Institute of Government at the University of North Carolina, he trained graduate students and local and state officeholders. He next served in state government as a division director in the Department of Community Colleges for the North Carolina State Board of Education.

In 1969, he came to Washington as administrative assistant to Representative Nick Galifianakis, a Democrat from North Carolina, and later that year joined the Federal Aviation Administration. From his initial position as attorney adviser on the legislative staff of the Office of General Counsel, he became special assistant to the executive secretary in the office of the FAA administrator. His working knowledge of aviation, governance and the law made him a natural for legislative drafting, policy advice and liaisons with Congress and with general counsels elsewhere in government.

Upon leaving the FAA, he joined the Washington firm of Sellers, Conner & Cuneo to work on transportation matters. A further move to the firm of Armour, Herrick, Allen, Hill and Bailey allowed him to concentrate on aviation, a focus that he kept when he later formed his own practice.

Following retirement in 2001, Mr. Markham was active in several railroad historical groups and was a supporter of St. Luke's Shelter for homeless men and the Guy Mason Recreation Center.

His marriage to Nancy Edwards ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 22 years, Margaret Drury Markham of Washington; four children from his first marriage, Janet Leigh Conviser of Las Vegas, Diane Carter Howey of Brandon, South Dakota, Jerri Elizabeth Franco of Atlanta and David Allan Markham of Charlotte; and eight grandchildren.


On July 16, 2004. Husband of Margaret Drury Markham; father of Janet Leigh Conviser, Diane Carter Howey, Jerri Elizabeth Franco, David Allan Markham. Grandfather of eight. Memorial service at 2 p.m., Thursday, July 22 at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Aves., NW. Private entombment at Arlington National cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Luke's Shelter for Homeless Men, 3655 Calvert St., NW, Washington, DC 20007


  • VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 01/26/1947 – 01/26/1968
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 03/05/1932
  • DATE OF DEATH: 07/16/2004
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 10/08/2004

Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment